Argentina expat Erin Mushaway from Sol Salute shows us the best of the country with this two-week Argentina itinerary.
Argentina is a massive country that offers something for literally everyone. It’s possibly the most diverse country in South America, home to spectacular mountains, enormous glaciers, and one of the most vibrant and historical cities in the world.
Deciding how to spend two weeks in Argentina can be a monumental task. How do you choose between hiking the mountains in Patagonia to the south, exploring the jungle to the northeast, seeking out the desert to the northwest or visiting the wine regions in between?! I’ve been living in Argentina for almost nine years now, and am here to lend a helping hand with a detailed two-week Argentina itinerary.
Table of Contents
- 2-Week Argentina Itinerary
- How to Get to Argentina
- Visa Entry to Argentina
- How to Get Around Argentina
- Best Time to Travel Argentina
- 2-Week Argentina Itinerary
- Argentina Itinerary Day 1: Explore Palermo in Buenos Aires
- Argentina Itinerary Day 2: Visit the District of Recoleta
- Argentina Itinerary Day 3: Dance Tango in La Boca
- Argentina Itinerary Day 4: Learn History in San Telmo
- Argentina Itinerary Day 5-6: Day Trips from Buenos Aires
- A Day Trip to Tigre River
- Hop Over to Colonia del Sacremento, Uruguay
- Go Horseback Riding at a Traditional Estancia
- Argentina Itinerary Day 7-10: Admire the Iguazu Falls
- Argentina Itinerary Day 10-14: Mendoza
- Further Reading on Argentina
- Author’s Bio
- Inspired? Pin it!
2-Week Argentina Itinerary
How to Get to Argentina
The most common entry point for travelers is the Ministro Pistarini International Airport, and also known as Ezeiza International Airport (EZE). It is located 20km from the city center of Buenos Aires. However, public transport to the city can take up to 2 hours (due to slow public connections), while a car ride will just take 25 minutes. I recommend arranging an airport transfer with your hotel.
Aerolíneas Argentinas and LATAM Argentina are the largest carriers in Argentina. Ezeiza is served by many airlines from Europe and Americas. Here’s a look at all the airlines that fly to Argentina. Flying from the US to Argentina isn’t exactly cheap. Flights from New York to Buenos Aires are usually nonstop, and cost around US$750 return. Flights from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires are more expensive at around US$1000, but are also nonstop (12 hours). Perhaps because of historical relations with Spain, you’ll find the best flight deals from Madrid to Buenos Aires for those based in Europe.
Visa Entry to Argentina
Most nationalities can travel to Argentina without a visa, including citizens from US, Canada, Australia, Singapore and the EU. You can stay up to 90 days. As of August 2019, citizens of Canada do NOT need to pay a reciprocity fee when entering Argentina. Those who require a visa to enter Argentina have to pay $50 for the visa. It’s best to check your country’s ministry of foreign affairs website for updated info on visa requirements.
How to Get Around Argentina
While it can be expensive to fly around South America, it’s usually cheap to fly within each country (as with Chile or Brazil). Domestic flights in Argentina are quite affordable and this is often the fastest and easiest way of getting between destinations. Check out Norwegian (weirdly enough) and Aerolineas Argentinas for the cheapest fares. A flight from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls costs around US$79 return, and flights to Mendoza are around the same at $73 return.
Bus travel is another means of exploring Argentina, although distances can be long (expect 20+ hour journeys) and if you’re only here for two weeks, it’s probably better to spend a little bit more on flights. If you have plenty of time, then check out this article for more info on bus travel in Argentina.
By Rental Car
If you’ve got a bit more time up your sleeve, consider renting a car. I always use Discover Car Hire when hiring cars abroad. They are the cheapest and I’ve always had positive experiences with them. Alternatively, you might want to hire a camper van, which can be a great way to explore Argentina’s backcountry and save money on accommodation.. Soul Vans have fully-equipped campers that start from 40,000 CLP (US$60) per day and you can often get a deal if you’re traveling slightly out of peak season (December through February).
Best Time to Travel Argentina
Argentina is such a massive country that temperature can vary drastically depending on which part of the country you are in. Remember that seasons are the opposite in the southern hemisphere: summer in Argentina is from December to February and winter runs from June to September.
In general, the best time to travel Argentina is in spring (October to mid-December) and autumn (April to mid-June) as temperatures are mild and you’ll be avoiding the tourist crowds and peak season prices.
In this two-week Argentina itinerary, you’ll be spending most of your time in Central and Northern Argentina. Mendoza has a Mediterranean climate, perfect for travel all year round. If you’re a wine-lover, we recommend heading there in February or March when the grapes are harvested. The Iguazú Falls area is generally very tropical with warm and humid weather, making it a great place to visit year-round.
2-Week Argentina Itinerary
Most people rightfully begin their journey to Argentina in its capital, Buenos Aires. So many people mistakenly pass through Buenos Aires, spending a couple days here. This metropolitan city should be a destination all on its own, and not only used as a jumping off point. Buenos Aires is enormous and is best seen slowly. Rather than being filled with landmarks that you can tick off a list, like New York or Paris, Buenos Aires is neighborhood-based.
Argentina Itinerary Day 1: Explore Palermo in Buenos Aires
After a long flight here, I recommend basing yourself in Palermo and taking it slow on your first day.
Palermo is a huge neighborhood, split into mini “sub-barrios.” Start out with lunch in Palermo Soho, a neighborhood filled with tree-canopied cobblestoned streets lined with boutique shops and creative restaurants and bars. Kick off your trip to the land of red meat with a steak at La Cabrera (Address: José Antonio Cabrera 5099) or Minga (Costa Rica 4528).
Belly full of steak and Malbec wine, take a taxi to the Bosques de Palermo park (at Av. Libertador & Av. Sarmiento). This sprawling park was inspired by New York’s Central Park. Stop and smell the roses in the Rosedal rose garden or rent roller blades to work off that steak. When the sun begins to set, make your way to the bars and cafe in the Arcos on Av. Infante Isabel. This part of the park (the arches below the train tracks) has recently been reformed into hip bars offering great outdoor happy hour and dinner options.
Stay at: Dream Studios BA
Since you’re going to be spending almost a week in Buenos Aires, I recommend staying somewhere where you can get comfortable and feel like you’re in your own home. Dream Studios BA have modern and spacious apartments that are well equipped. You’ll have seating area, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchenette, air-conditioning and cable TV. The top of the building even has an outdoor swimming pool, a solarium, a terrace, and a grill.
Argentina Itinerary Day 2: Visit the District of Recoleta
Start your day among the (famous) dead at the Recoleta Cemetery (Junín 1760), one of the most stunning cemeteries in the world. Allow yourself to get lost amongst the impressive mausoleums. Find past presidents and generals here (if they have a street named after them, they’re likely buried here!). Be sure to find Evita’s grave. She’s buried with her family, so no Peron tomb here, look for the Duarte family’s mausoleum.
Try to visit on the weekend, there’s a market every Saturday and Sunday in Plaza Francia in front of the cemetery. Cross the pedestrian bridge crossing Alcorta Avenue. Here you’ll find the Law School building with it’s imposing columns and the Floralis statue, a large aluminum and steel flower in the United Nations Plaza.
When you’ve had your fill of the mansions and history of Recoleta, hop in a taxi to Plaza Tribunales to see the famous Teatro Colon Opera Theater. There are guided tours every 15 minutes starting at 10 am from the Tucuman entrance (Tucuman 1171).
Stroll on the Widest Avenue in the World
After taking in all of the European opulence you can handle, make your way to 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest avenue in the world. If Recoleta and the opera house made you think you were in Europe, the chaos of 9 de Julio will quickly remind you that you are, in fact, in South America. Take photos of the iconic obelisk in the heart of the avenue.
By now, it must be getting late. The obelisk is at the intersection of 9 de Julio and Corrientes avenues. As the sunsets and the lights turn on, this area is very reminiscent of Time’s Square. Corrientes comes to life at night with its theater lined streets.
If you’re hungry, order a cheesy slice of pizza like a local in one of the many classic pizzerias on the avenue (Pizzeria Guerrin is always a hit). If you’d prefer steak, make your way back to Palermo to end the night in Don Julio, voted the best parrilla (barbecue) in Argentina.
Stay at: Arenales Suites
Of course I would advise to stay in just one place when in Buenos Aires instead of moving places, but I’m providing you with more options in case you want to stay in other districts besides Palermo. If Recoleta takes your fancy (which is a great option too as it’s in the heart of Buenos Aires), check out the spacious apartments at Arenales Suites. This apart-hotel has a rooftop swimming pool with open views. Each apartment is bright and spacious, with complete kitchenette, sitting area and balcony. It’s just 100m from a metro station and within walking distance from restaurants, bars and markets.
Argentina Itinerary Day 3: Dance Tango in La Boca
Start the day with a taxi to La Boca. La Boca is a colorful neighborhood in the south of the city. It’s home to the port that welcomed the waves of immigrants at the turn of the twentieth century. Despite feeling like a tourist trap, La Boca is home to so much important Buenos Aires history.
Take your obligatory photos of the Caminito but avoid eating at one of the touristy restaurants lining the street here. Instead, head to El Obrero, which is only 8 blocks away, but far more authentic and reasonably priced.
El Obrero is a classic bodegon style restaurant, it is a piece of history. Photos of Argentine celebrities who have eaten here and chalkboard menus line the walls. You will be guaranteed to eat like a local in El Obrero. Order the rabas (fried calamari) and their tortilla española, and don’t forget a good Malbec to wash it all down.
See the Modern Side of Argentina
Next stop, Puerto Madero. If La Boca’s port is the past, the Puerto Madero waterfront is the future. This barrio is the youngest neighborhood in the city because it was completely recycled and renovated in the 90’s. The original structures, including massive cranes, remain. The modern bridge in the center is the Puente de la Mujer (Woman’s Bridge), its form is a modern interpretation of a couple dancing the tango.
End this day at one of the restaurants lining the water in Puerto Madero. Whether you choose Mexican food or another steak, you’ll have plenty of choices in the renovated red brick buildings.
Stay at: Azopardo 770
You won’t find much accommodation choices in La Boca, but you can easily find good-value modern places to stay in Puerto Madera. Azopardo 770 is a stylish apartment in Puerto Madero, just steps from cafes and restaurants. The apartment has one bedroom, a full kitchen and everything you would expect in a home. There are also indoor jacuzzis in the apartment building that you can access. It’s definitely a great place to stay and pretend to be a local!
Argentina Itinerary Day 4: Learn History in San Telmo
On this fourth day in Buenos Aires, explore the historic center of San Telmo and the Plaza de Mayo. Save this day’s itinerary for Sunday if you’re in town on a weekend. There’s a weekly antique market in San Telmo every Sunday. Artisans, painters and vendors line Defensa Street beginning at Plaza de Mayo, continuing for ten blocks past Plaza Dorrego. This is ideal for souvenir shopping!
Searching for antiques? The best antiques are in the stands in Plaza Dorrego and inside the market located at Bolívar 970. This market is also in the midst of becoming a gastronomic center with brand new restaurants and bars taking over.
Have lunch inside the market for a quick meal on the go. If you’d prefer to sit and enjoy a steak that dreams are made of, make your way to Desnivel at Defensa 855. Desnivel makes the best lomo (sirloin) I’ve ever had, grilled to perfection. The waiters are grumpy, the lights are bright, but the food is incredible.
Wander around Plaza de Mayo
Work your way through the market back to Plaza de Mayo. This historic square is where the city was born. Casa Rosada (The Pink House) is the official government house, but the president only works here. He actually lives in a complex in the northern neighborhood of Olivos. If you’d to sing from the balcony and have your own personal Evita moment, there are guided tours every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday at 2:30 in English.
Walk a few blocks up Avenida de Mayo to have a coffee break in the city’s first coffee shop, Cafe Tortoni. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time in this historic cafe. They also offer tango shows each night, if you’d be interested ask your waiter about making a reservation.
Take in Panoramic Views of the City
After your coffee, make your way back to Plaza de Mayo to take a stroll down Florida Street. The first paved road in Buenos Aires is now arguably the busiest pedestrian street in the world (personal opinion here). Duck out of the crowds into Galería Güemes at Florida 165 and take the elevator to the top. For the equivalent of U$2, Galería Güemes offers a great panoramic rooftop view of the entire city.
Make sure you walk down Florida until the very end to see Plaza San Martin. This is a beautiful square. Sit and relax on a bench under a canopy of trees. Take it all in, you’ve done a lot today! You deserve a rest.
Stay at: L’Adresse Hôtel Boutique
My absolute favorite hotel in this Argentina itinerary! If you’re looking to stay somewhere that shows Argentina’s past and present, this is it. L’Adresse Boutique Hotel is housed in an old building in San Telmo, but it has been beautifully restored with tasteful design and charismatic decor. It has SO much character and everything from the vintage furniture in the lounge area to the colonial mosaic tiles on the floor exude unique flair.
Argentina Itinerary Day 5-6: Day Trips from Buenos Aires
Use the remaining two days to explore a bit outside of Buenos Aires. Choose from these three options to get some fresh air, countryside, and culture.
A Day Trip to Tigre River
Tigre is a town just north of Buenos Aires proper and its river delta is a great spot for horseback riding and fishing. You can take the train from Retiro Station and go on a free walking tour (pay whatever you want) to learn more about the area. Hire a boat to explore the vast rivers and wetlands of the Paraná Delta. You can also shop in the craft market at the Puerto de Frutos.
Hop Over to Colonia del Sacremento, Uruguay
Rather escape Argentina entirely? Take a ferry to nearby Colonia de Sacramento in Uruguay, just across the river. All ferry companies offer “day tour” rates with early morning departures and returns in mid-afternoon or later in the evening. Colonia was settled by the Portuguese and its historic center is precious. It’s a sleepy town, very tranquil, and is the perfect complement to a week in hectic Buenos Aires. Book your ferry tickets here!
Go Horseback Riding at a Traditional Estancia
If you want to see an example of rural tourism and gaucho history in Buenos Aires, you can’t miss a día de campo (day in the countryside) at an estancia (ranch). Most countryside day tours offer optional transfers from the city center. You’ll be able to go on a horseback ride guided by a gaucho, enjoy a hearty asado lunch, and experience other rural traditions. Most are located in San Antonio de Areco, an hour outside of Buenos Aires.
Argentina Itinerary Day 7-10: Admire the Iguazu Falls
Escape the big city for a few days to the jungle of Northeastern Argentina. Visit Iguazu Falls and see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. The largest network of falls lies on the border between Argentina and Brazil, so you can even get the chance to cross over to Brazil. Book an early morning flight from Aeroparque Buenos Aires to Iguazu so you can take full advantage of your travel day by heading straight to the national park after checking in to your hotel.
You can view the falls from both Argentina and Brazil and both offer completely different experiences. The Argentina side of Iguazu Falls is massive and the Argentina National Park offers a lot of trails to explore. You’ll need at least 2 days to see everything. Explore the Superior and Lower Circuits, the Garganta del Diablo waterfall and take the speedboat right up to the falls (wear a poncho!).
On your third day visit the Brazilian side. Americans need a visa to enter Brazil so make sure you have your paperwork in order! While in Argentina you are traversing catwalks built on top of the waterfalls, in Brazil you’re seeing the entire picture from afar. If you have time to spare in Brazil, check out our two weeks in Brazil itinerary!
Stay at: Panoramic Grand – Iguazú
It’s not everyday you get to visit such spectacular falls, so I recommend splurging on a hotel that has views of the Iguazu. The Panoramic Grand has the best views in the area, overlooking the Iguazú river and the Triple Frontier. The five-star hotel also has a big outdoor swimming pool, modern and high-end rooms with gorgeous views, as well as a restaurant and spa. Even if you’re not staying here, try to have a drink at its cafe to catch sunset.
Stay at: Hotel Saint George
For a slightly cheaper option, Hotel Saint George is perfect for those who prefer to be near restaurants and shops. It’s located 300 m from Puerto Iguazu city center, and steps from conveniences. It’s an excellent choice for families as it has a big and colorful play area where every kid would go crazy! There’s also a hydromassage tub, games room, and two swimming pools with lush gardens.
Argentina Itinerary Day 10-14: Mendoza
If you didn’t drink Malbec, did you even visit Argentina? There’s a reason wine is the national beverage here. Taste Malbec right from the source by spending four days in Mendoza. Even if you don’t drink, Mendoza offers a lot of activities for everyone from horseback rides in the Andes to white water rafting.
You’ll need to fly from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, but flights are cheap at around US$75 return. There’s plenty to do here, so four days are just about enough time to explore it. I, personally, once spent four days doing nothing by visiting wineries and that’s the itinerary I always recommend. There are different wine “departments” or regions in Mendoza and each one has something different to offer. If this sounds like you, then split your time tasting in the best wineries in Mendoza in the regions of Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de Uco.
Wine Tasting in Lujan de Cuyo
Spend your first two nights in Chacras de Coria to explore Lujan de Cuyo. The day you arrive, you can explore the wineries that are walking distance in town. Clos de Chacras and Pulmary are two excellent wineries that won’t require any transportation but your two feet.
On your second day, explore further by rent bikes from Baccus Vineyard Biking. You can go alone or with one of their English speaking guides if you don’t speak Spanish (it will help with your winery visits). The kind people at Baccus will help you plan your day, calling wineries to schedule your tastings and making your lunch reservations, leaving you to only relax, bike and drink wine.
Head South to The Uco Valley
For your final two nights, make your way south to Valle de Uco on a tour or in your own rental car. The Uco Valley is the most beautiful wine region I’ve ever visited, located at the foot of the Andes. The best grapes and hence, the best wine, comes from this region.
The wineries in Uco Valley are only accessible by car due to distance so hiring a driver or tour is a great way to see them. A few of the best wineries to visit are SuperUco, Salentein, Gimenez Riili and Bodega La Azul. Reserve your lunch at Bodega La Azul, the only Argentine owned winery in the Uco Valley. They offer a spectacular five-course lunch with wine pairings for less than you’d pay for just one steak in North America. The views of the Andes from your table don’t hurt either.
Stay at: Casa de Uco Vineyard and Wine Resort
You’ve come to Mendoza for the vineyards, so I recommend staying in one! Set in the spectacular setting of Argentina’s wine country, this stylish wine resort is absolutely spectacular both inside and outside. The all-glass exterior makes it look like a contemporary art installation surrounded by snow-peaked mountains and acres of vineyards. There’s an outdoor pool, spa and free horse riding.
This is one of the best affordable options: Postales Boutique Wine Hotel is a hacienda-style hotel surrounded by 38 acres of Malbec Vineyards. It offers 9 spacious suites and an outdoor pool with panoramic mountain views. There’s an outdoor pool and lots of greenery for you to relax in. The hotel’s tour desk organizes recreational day trips and wine tastings.
Further Reading on Argentina
Two weeks in Argentina are two weeks you will never regret. It’s a beautiful country filled with beautiful landscapes and beautiful, friendly people. It can be tempting to spend less time in each location to squeeze more in, but fight the urge. Take your time to take it all in properly. I hope this Argentina itinerary gives you the best first experience in the country and hope you’ll keep returning!
If you’re looking to read more on other parts of South America, here are some articles I’ve written based on my personal travel experiences:
- How to Get to Machu Picchu
- 10 Days in Colombia Itinerary
- A 2-Week Chile and Easter Island Itinerary
- How to Visit the Galapagos Islands
A Texan transplanted into Argentina, Erin Mushaway has spent a decade living abroad in Europe, the Caribbean, and South America, but mostly in Argentina. She has lived in Buenos Aires for the past eight years, perfecting her Spanish, drinking Malbec, and putting down roots with her husband and pets. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Sol Salute, and also on Facebook and Instagram.
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